Jim - email@example.com
I am 28 years old as of a week ago, and when I was in my early teens I used to be a hardcore skateboarder with my own half pipe in my backyard. I recently moved to Chandler/Mesa Arizona about a year ago. I was amazed at all the skateboard parks they have here. I thought it would be cool to get back into it and it would also provide something fun for my boys (2 year old and 4 years old) to get into and I could teach them. So, I began going to the skate parks a few times a week and it was fun. Then one day it happened. I fell on my wazoo and it all went down hill from there. What was weird is the pain did not appear right away. Slowly over a few months it began to hurt to sit (I fell in October 2002). I just dealt with the pain, kept skating, and began spending more time teaching my boys and we even built our own 4' x 16' x 30' ramp in our backyard. It's more fun then jogging and just as good of a workout. Anyway, I actually thought for a while that the pain was a result of me losing 60 pounds and that my butt just got too boney and had no cushion for sitting any more. Then after about 6 months the pain just got too bad. Sitting down became so painful that I had to basically lean sideways. I am a software engineer and so I sit quite a bit. I finally put two and two together and realized that the fall at the Chandler skate park was the culprit.
I had always been skeptical of chiropractors but I decided to go to one anyways. I won't mention his name but it was basically a total waste of my time. He was "out of network" so I paid a few hundred bucks out of my own pocket. Every other day it was the same thing; he would twist me up like a pretzel and then put some electrode machine on my lower back. He said this would fix things after a few months. After about 250$ and no improvement I decided I had enough and quit going to Mr. X. By the way, the guy did not even come close to my coccyx area when treating me. I was basically so desperate for a fix that I just hoped he would cure it with chiropractic magic dust or something, but it led to nothing. So, I just continued to deal with the pain. Then a few months after that I decided to go to my primary care physician and he of course said there was basically nothing he could do except order some X-rays which the first guy did as well. They both said things were normal. He then referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who pretty much did the same thing as my Doc. He felt around a few places and then told me he could cut out my coccyx. To me this seemed to be a little extreme. So, I decided to think it over a few weeks. He also explained to me that since it's so close to the sacrum there is always the risk that he could cut to deep and mess things up there. I pictured a 28 year old guy at the skate park with a blatter bag hanging out of his pocket and that was not good.
So, it's been almost a year now. About a month ago I decided to come back to this site one last time. I checked out the list of people in AZ who treat people for this. I found a newly added posting from Dr. Grant Shapiro. To make a long story short, he looked at me the first visit, could tell immediately that my coccyx was pushed inward (when Mr. X said it looked just fine) and that an internal adjustment was necessary due to the severity. I thought about it and figured what the heck. He did his thing which took only a minute or less. The first few days were still painful; I even had to stop jogging for a few days because it hurt so badly. The first few visits after the initial manipulation were spent massaging the tendons right around that area which was very sore. Doctor Shapiro said I had the worst case he has treated, I think because I had so much damage to the ligaments in that area from the coccyx being so out of place for almost a year.
Now, a little over a month I would say that I am about 90% recovered. I can actually run my finger down my spine now and it does not hurt, I can sit pain free mostly (I still use my little coccyx pad of course), and I can lay sideways on the couch with my legs in awkward positions which I could not do before without suffering. I can also sit on the floor to play board games with my kids which I could not do for almost a year now. A few months ago the pain was excruciating at the tailbone area. Dr. Shapiro ordered an ultrasound to see if there is any more tissue damage in the area, and I should get the results next week. I never really expected to recoup this much, especially without any surgery.
What is amazing is while waiting for him one day, I started looking at one of his books in the office and I found the same manipulation he did on me. He did not make it up, he just follows what he says he learned in school, which for some reason a lot of chiropractors seem to overlook (on this specific area).
I call this my $1k fall, but a year later it looks like I am finally healing hopefully to 100% but I am still a little shy of that but it's no comparison to what is was two months ago. Now I just got to figure out how to keep this from happening again, I enjoy spending the time with my boys teaching them how to skate. I did some research on the internet and there are padded shorts you can buy for sports active people like me. For now I am trying out a homemade version using shorts, spray glue, and two layers of carpet padding.
Anyway, that's my story. I know that removing the coccyx works for some people, but my experience is use this for a last resort and ask around for a good chiropractor that has experience in this type of procedure. I would even recommend calling Dr. Shapiro just for some advice. He actually talked to me on the phone before I came in for the first visit.